Sunday, November 11, 2012

Three 2012 Picture Books

The Goldilocks Variations. Allan Ahlberg. Illustrated by Jessica Ahlberg. 2012. Candlewick. 40 pages.

For anyone who enjoys The Three Little Bears will enjoy this oh-so-creative book of variations by Allan Ahlberg. (This may just be my favorite Ahlberg title!) Some of the offerings include: "Goldilocks and the Three Bears," "Goldilocks and the 33 Bears," "Goldilocks and the Bliim," "Goldilocks and the Furniture," "Goldilocks The Play," "Goldilocks and...Everybody," and "Goldilocks...Alone?" The language is fun and playful and just right.

Goldilocks and the Three Bears begins,
"There was once a cheeky girl. Her name, or nickname rather, on account of her corn-colored hair, was Goldilocks. One morning, Goldilocks went for a walk in the woods, found a little cottage, climbed in through a window, and messed around for a bit. This cottage was the home of...The Three Bears." 
and it ends,
"Meanwhile, the great big father bear and the middle-size mother bear cuddled up their sad little small wee baby bear and gave him some of their porridge. And, later on, a boiled egg in his own little eggcup. Some bread and butter soldiers to dip in it. And a cup of tea. And later on still, a lovely little BUN. Bears love buns."
I really enjoyed the playfulness of Goldilocks and the 33 Bears. In part, it reads,
Well, Goldilocks sat on a great many chairs and broke most of them. She came upon a great many bowls of porridge and ate too many of them. She climbed the stairs, with her terribly bulgy tummy, flopped down onto the nearest bed--there were dozens of them--and fell asleep in it. Then...homeward came the bears! The great big father bear saw the open window. The middle-size mother bear saw the broken chairs. The tall and skinny teenage bears saw very little. They were still dawdling in the woods. The younger bears saw nothing at all. They were having a sleepover at their friend's house. The very baby bear also saw nothing. She was having a sleepover on her daddy's back. But the little small wee bears--there were two of them--saw EVERYTHING. 
That story also happily ends with buns because BEARS LOVE BUNS.

I thought Goldilocks the Play was BRILLIANT. I just LOVED it!!! The other variations were nice too. I would definitely recommend this one!!!

Read The Goldilocks Variations
  • If you enjoy playful, fun variations or "fractured" fairy tales
  • If you enjoy fairy tales
  • If you love detailed, creative books

Cinderella: A Three-Dimensional Fairy Tale Theater. Jane Ray. 2012. Candlewick. 12 pages. 

For those that love Cinderella, this may be a must. It may also be a must for those that love intricate, delicate, detailed pop-up illustrations. Some may be fascinated by the illustrations alone. And you could definitely spend time looking at them! The text of this one is revealed by opening the curtains on each side of the stage. This probably wouldn't be a great choice for young(er) children because the pop-ups are so delicate. But for older children who still enjoy Cinderella, it would be great.

Read Cinderella
  • If you love Cinderella, if you love reading different versions of the story
  • If you love pop-up books, if you love detailed three-dimensional art

Who Pushed Humpty Dumpty? And Other Notorious Nursery Tale Mysteries. David Levinthal. Illustrations by John Nickle. 2012. Random House.  40 pages.

A mystery-detective themed picture book that fractures fairy tales! Tales (cases) include: Goldilocks, Hansel and Gretel, Humpty Dumpty, Snow White, and Jack and the Beanstalk. The narrator (a frog) is a cop named Binky. These are his cases, all of them solved. The book was silly, and for those looking to introduce little ones to the genre of detective stories (finding clues, solving cases, questioning witnesses, etc.) it would be a good fit.

Read Who Pushed Humpty Dumpty?
  • If you enjoy fractured fairy tales
  • If you love mystery and detective stories
© 2012 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews


Suko 8:02 PM  

These look and sound wonderful, Becky!

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Review Policy

I am interested in reviewing books and audio books. This blog focuses on books written for middle grade on up (essentially 10 to a 110). I review middle grade fiction and young adult fiction (aka tween and teen).

I also review adult books.

I read in a variety of genres including realistic fiction, historical fiction, mystery, romance, science fiction, fantasy, literary fiction, and chick lit. (I've read one western to date.)

I read a few poetry books, a few short story collections, a few graphic novels, a few nonfiction books.

I am especially fond of:

  • Regency romances (including Austen prequels/sequels)
  • Historical fiction set in the Tudor dynasty
  • Historical fiction and nonfiction set during World War II
  • Jewish fiction/nonfiction
  • dystopias
  • apocalyptic fiction
  • science fiction (especially if it involves time travel and alternate realities)
  • fantasy
  • multicultural books and international books

I am not a fan of:

  • sports books
  • horse books
  • dog books if the dog dies (same goes with most pets actually except maybe fish)
  • westerns (if it's a pioneer story with women and children, then maybe)
  • extremely violent books with blood, blood, and more blood

I am more interested in strong characters, well-written, fleshed-out, human characters. Plot is secondary to me in a way. I have to care about the characters in order to care about the plot. That being said, compelling storytelling is something that I love. I love to become absorbed in what I'm reading.

If you're interested in sending me a review copy of your book, I'm happy to hear from you. Email me at laney_po AT yahoo DOT com.

You should know several things before you contact me:

1) I do not guarantee a review of your book. I am just agreeing to consider it for review.
2) I give all books at least fifty pages.
3) I am not promising anyone (author or publisher) a positive review in exchange for a review copy. That's not how I work.
4) In all of my reviews I strive for honesty. My reviews are my opinions--so yes, they are subjective--you should know my blog will feature both negative and positive reviews.
5) I do not guarantee that I will get to your book immediately. I've got so many books I'm trying to read and review, I can't promise to get to any one book in a given time frame.
6) Emailing me every other week to see if I've read your book won't help me get to it any faster. Though if you want to email me to check and see if it arrived safely, then that's fine!

Authors, publishers. I am interested in interviewing authors and participating in blog tours. (All I ask is that I receive a review copy of the author's latest book beforehand so the interview will be productive. If the book is part of a series, I'd like to review the whole series.) Contact me if you're interested.

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